Father of brutally killed soldier Aurangzeb blamed the “weak policy” of the government towards terrorists in Kashmir for the killing of his son, who had been abducted while he was on his way to his home in Poonch to celebrate Eid with his family.
Hundreds of people participated in the funeral of Aurangzeb and journalist Shujaat Bukhari in their ancestral villages of Salina (Poonch) and Baramulla, respectively.
Both of them were killed in two separate incidents of terror in Kashmir on Thursday. Two security personnel of Bukhari were also shot dead when he came out of his office in the heart of Srinagar to break his Ramzan fast.
Top politicians and bureaucrats participated in the funeral of Bukhari in Baramulla. Prominent among them were, Ministers Naeem Akhtar, Basharat Bukhari (elder brother of Shujaat), former chief minister Omar Abdullah and separatist Yasin Malik.
Womenfolk of the Salina village wailed as the mutilated body of Aurangzeb was brought there in a helicopter after the wreath-laying ceremony in Srinagar where top Army officers were present.
The 24-year-old Aurangzeb’s father, who himself was earlier in the army, wanted that politicians and separatists should be thrown out of Srinagar and the army given free hand to comb the entire Valley and eliminate the terrorists.
Rifleman Aurangzeb was part of the commando unit which killed “A++” category Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sameer Tiger in an encounter in April. Sameer Ahmed Bhat, alias Sameer Tiger, the Hizbul Mujahideen’s main recruiter, was gunned down in Pulwama district’s Drabgam area.
On the other hand, 52-year-old senior journalist Bukhari was considered a sane voice in the Valley who would even criticise the separatists for creating unrest.
The police have released picture (captured in the CCTV) of the motorbike-borne three masked assailants of Bukhari fleeing after assassinating him at the Press Enclave. Police were hopeful of tracing them soon.
Although, throughout the month-long unilateral ceasefire against terrorists announced by the Modi government, the Valley witnessed a spurt in incidents of innocent killings and grenade blasting, the killings on Thursday have come just two days before the ceasefire was to end.
Both these killings have been highly condemned throughout the country. Within J-K, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in her tweet said: “Terrorism has hit a new low with Shujaat’s killing. That too, on the eve of Eid. We must unite against forces seeking to undermine our attempts to restore peace. Justice will be done.”
Separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq tweeted: “Deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic news of Shujaat Bukharis killing! Such inhumanity is unpardonable and condemned in the strongest terms! Proud son of the soil his death is a huge loss. Shujaat was an erudite intellectual, a fearless journalist and above all a selfless human deeply concerned for his people. My heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family. Pray to almighty for his magfirat and place in Jannat.”
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah said: “Even in the last tweet he put out he was defending himself, his colleagues and his profession. He died in the line of duty doing what he did best & loved doing — journalism.”
Hardline Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani also condemned the killing of Bukhari, saying: “It is against the moral and human ethics to kill a person without any justification.”
Family of soldiers
Refileman Aurabgzeb’s uncle, who too was in army, was also abducted and killed by terrorists in 2004. Aurengzeb’s family has many soldiers. His father is a retired soldier and his elder brother is also in the army and presently posted in Pune.
Aurangzeb’s another uncle is also a retired soldier.
Police suspect that Aurangzeb, was abducted by Naveed, who had two years ago deserted the police with four rifles from Budgam. Aurangzeb’s father said that shortly before his abduction, he informed on phone that he has reached Shopian in South Kashmir and would be with the family in Salani village of Poonch.
During the telephonic conversation, Aurangzeb’s father could hear a commotion from his son’s side for about 10 minutes before his mobile phone got disconnected.
Aurangzeb was four days ago granted leave to celebrate Eid with his family. His elder brother was also on his way home from Pune to celebrate the festival.